Saturday, March 30, 2013

Simple Pleasures

We spent the day exploring the Duke campus, which is huge and quite impressive. 

It was the perfect day for walking around...almost 75 degrees out and sunny! The first warm Spring day we've had. The dogwood trees are really blooming here now. 

We got to walk right down onto the Duke baseball field. 

Dave having some fun. 

I love all the contrasts in colors here. 

Dave finally got to see his beloved Cameron Indoor Stadium, home of Duke basketball. Unfortunately, the doors were locked and we couldn't go inside, but it was still cool to see. 

Well, every door was locked except one! The door into the baseball locker rooms had been left unlocked. I'm sure visitors weren't supposed to be in there, but we poked our noses in just long enough to snap a picture. 

Duke football field. 

To get that great view of the football field, we climbed up this ladder into the press box where camera crews would usually record the game. Sometimes I forget that I get scared of heights, and when it was time to climb down the ladder, I got stuck and panicked. Obviously, it wasn't very high up at all, and when I finally made myself climb down the ladder, we got a great laugh out of it. Dave even climbed back up to take a picture of me, victorious at the bottom after conquering the ladder. 

After walking around campus for a while, we were enticed by the delicious smell of burgers being grilled, and decided to follow our noses. To our incredible joy, there were hot dogs, burgers, iced tea, cookies, and all the fixings being served for FREE outside of the women's tennis match. It was such a delightful surprise. We got plenty of food, and wandered over to watch some tennis, which was also a free event. Watching women's tennis was surprisingly fun, much more fun then watching on TV. Duke played very well, and it was fun to cheer them on from the bleachers in the sunshine, iced tea in hand. 

This was one of those days that reminds us of the simple pleasures of this trip. It is so nice to not have anything you specifically must do, and just be able to wander about and run into things like free food and tennis matches. This trip has been such a great study in how to live well, and cheaply. We've literally spent under $10 today (bagels for breakfast, cup of coffee, and some fruit at Trader Joe's), and it's been such a magical, wonderful day. Having money often makes you feel like you need to spend it to have fun and enjoy life, but that's far from the truth. Having very little money is leading to so many great, rewarding days. 

I also find that this trip is leading to us slowing down and taking time to enjoy each thing we are doing. After eating bagels outside this morning, we walked over to a store called WomanCraft, which was a co-op where local artists can sell their wares. As we were browsing, we began talking to two of the ladies working there, and had a great conversation with them. When you're not on a strict time schedule, conversations like this become much more common. We learned that both ladies, probably now in their 40's, also traveled across the country once. One had done her traveling in an old converted school bus! It seems people usually have one of two reactions to this trip: they are jealous and wish they could do something similar, or they have tales of their own travels. I'm so glad we're in the latter category. It is so neat to meet such a diverse network of people who have done trips across the country, living out of their vehicle...there are so many of us! 


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